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Rose Zhang became the second straight Stanford freshman to claim the individual NCAA title.
Everything’s coming up … Rose right now, as in Rose Zhang, the best amateur in the world, who won the individual NCAA title Monday and, a day later, was announced the NCAA Player of the Year.
Zhang’s world domination tour, which we are growing more and more accustomed to, added a stop at Grayhawk Golf Club, in Arizona, when she won the NCAA title by three strokes, becoming the second-straight Stanford freshman to topple the women’s collegiate game. She raced out to a seven-shot lead through three rounds and held on for a smooth win with a 75 on Monday, all while rocking aviator shades.
The No. 1 amateur in the women’s game will only increase her dominant lead in that ranking when the official numbers are adjusted next week. Adding to that prize was Tuesday morning’s official announcement that, yes, all the college coaches, players and media think Zhang is No. 1 as well, honoring her with the Annika Award, named after Annika Sorenstam. Among the perks that come with that distinction: an exemption into the Evian Championship, one of the women’s game’s five majors
For a little cherry on top, Zhang’s big week coincided with her birthday. She turned 19 Tuesday.
“It is safe to say I know every one of these names,” Zhang said of past Annika Award winners, who include the likes of Rachel Heck and Maria Fassi. “Just seeing all of these names and being given this award by the greatest player ever in Annika brings a lot of inspiration to me to keep getting better. Not only is it an award for golf, but it is also for character. Being voted as the winner by my peers and coaches is truly amazing.”
It is unclear how long Zhang’s college golf career will last, but we know for sure that she will go down as one of the best freshman to ever compete at the collegiate level. Zhang won her first three individual events during the fall season, and amassed an NCAA record 69.68 scoring average during her first year in Palo Alto.
Up next for Zhang is conquering team golf in the NCAA match play championship, which is Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
If you’d like to learn more about Zhang, No Laying Up recently released a documentary about her and the rest of her Stanford teammates, who are the favorites to win the team NCAA title as well. You can check that out in the video below.
Zak is a writer and host for various GOLF.com video properties and podcasts. Check out his travels on Destination Golf and his latest thoughts on the Drop Zone Podcast:
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